Using up scraps when creating new blocks is a great way to try something new.  When scrappy quilts are made, you can easily use more than one block style and mix and match them with similar-sized blocks.  Since it is all scraps everything will work.   But sometimes, I find they can be very ‘busy’ looking.  A good way to mix multiple blocks without all the scrappy colors is to make the blocks monochromatic in color.  This calms the business of the design.

Open your EQ8 program, create a new project, and name it ‘Calm Down Busy Patterns’.  Click the OK at the bottom of the project helper box.

Click on LIBRARIES>Block Library at the top of the screen.

Browse through the Block Library categories and choose a few blocks that have lots of little pieces to them.  Add them to the sketchbook.


Click on the quilt worktable icon on the upper right side of the screen.

On the ribbon at the top of the screen, under the NEW QUILT tab, select the Horizontal  option.

Click on the Design tab at the top of the screen and select Block Tools from the ribbon.

For this quilt, I am just using all the defaults for the layout.  I am not changing the block sizes, layout, or borders.  I just want to play with a busy design to see how I can calm it down simply through color applications.

Using the set block tool, click on each of the blocks you added to the sketchbook and add them in any layout pattern you want to fill the center of the quilt layout.

Add the layout design to the sketchbook. 

This is meant to be a scrappy quilt.  There are loads of different colors and little pieces.  This can often be a very busy-looking quilt.  To calm it down, you can use a monochromatic color palette to settle your design a little.

Click on the fabric tools icon on the ribbon at the top of the screen.  Click on the colors tab in the box on the left side of the screen to see all the solid colors. Click on any one of the colors to create a monochromatic layout.   Click on the three little dots and then select the ‘add shades & tints’ option from the menu.


In the menu box, you can insert and remove any of the colors by clicking on the words.  When you click on ‘remove’ you will have less options to choose and if you click on ‘insert’ you will have more options to choose from in this colorway.  Once you are happy with the colors to work with, click on the ‘add to sketchbook’ at the bottom of the box.

You will find this new color palette at the end of the built-in solid colors.  Scroll to the end to find your chosen color range.

Choose the spray can tool and then choose your color.  As you click on each of the elements of the blocks on the worktable while holding down the control key (CTRL) on the keyboard, all similar colored pieces in the layout will recolor with one click. Be sure to color the border too.

Add the design to the sketchbook.

If you want to calm down the design even further, go back to the three little dots and choose a more muted color to add shades and tints to give a softer look.  You will find your new palette at the end of the colors that are built in.  Recolor your blocks for a softer look with these more muted colors.

Add to sketchbook 

This is just an example of how to view your quilt fabric choices before you begin.  You would then go to your stash of fabrics and choose similar colors to create the mood you want to portray in your quilt.   Create something bold and busy, calm and monochromatic, or something in between that can be viewed before you even begin your cutting and sewing.